By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County commissioners approved text amendments to county ordinances that could allow future preservation districts to be set up in rural areas, if commissioners wished to do so.
The changes were made so that the county’s ordinances would synchronize with state requirements for enabling legislation for historic districts, paving the way for the county to be designated a Certified Local Government (CLG). CLGs have access to a large pool of state grant funds for preservation projects, among other benefits, said county Senior Planner Allison Moon.
“There’s a significant amount of money that this opens up to us, for the preservation of some of our historic and cultural resources,” said Moon.
County officials stressed that simply because the county has the ability to set up preservation districts does not mean that it plans to do so anytime soon. In fact, no district can be established in Morgan County until design guidelines for those area are approved by county commissioners, a project that is expected to take another year or so. Commissioners also made clear their desire to have, in such guidelines, exemptions to requirements in place for non-historic county properties that might happen to some day be placed within a district.